IS Lymm Baptist Church the busiest building in the village?
It’s a lofty claim to make for Lymm Baptist Church, on Higher Lane, but the Rev Chris Goswami, associate minister, believes it must be in the running.
Thinking of learning to paint? Or perhaps learning a new language?
Looking for a toddler group, a gardening club or a class to help you with your GCSE preparation? Or just some people to sing with?
These are just a few of the many activities taking place every week in the church.
Over the years the church has become arguably the most utilised community building in Lymm. On a typical week, 400 people visit to take part in one or more activities, and that is largely in addition to the 200-plus who attend the service on Sunday mornings.
Mr Goswami says: “Hospitality and welcome are top priorities for us as a church. There are serious problems of loneliness and isolation in society today. Even in a friendly place like Lymm, people need someone to chat to, somewhere to belong. These groups provide a sense of community and well-being, as well as enhancing the life of people socially, educationally and artistically and we want to encourage them.
“I remember a lady coming in a few months ago alone and with no particular artistic skill, but she is now learning to paint in watercolours and has made lasting friendships along the way. That’s what it’s about!”
At the Incy Wincy toddler group, working mum Paula Swettenham said: “This is a very special place. I have brought all four of my children here one after another and its always so warm and welcoming”.
Ashleigh Hindley, mother of Stanley and Winnie added: “The staff here are exceptional – nothing is too much trouble and it’s so good to meet other people like me juggling a busy life and small children!”
It’s not uncommon to find all five of the church’s halls and rooms occupied at the same time with toddlers and school-aged children, through to adults practising impressionist art or flower arranging, to seniors attending U3A classes.
The church has recently embarked on a major refurbishment that will transform the facilities and the look and feel of the place. Due to be completed in January, money has been raised to provide repairs, replace aging décor, provide a lift to improve access, and a brand new coffee lounge for building-users to enjoy a cappuccino and conversation.
Mr Goswami added: “As with any major building project, we have had a few setbacks and nasty surprises along the way, but we are now well on the way towards completion. We’re really grateful to all our user groups for bearing with the dust and the noise for a few weeks, but it will be worth it – the results will be amazing!”
If you would like information about community groups and activities that meet at Lymm Baptist Church, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – or just drop in.